Pascal Reid, a Local Bitcoins user, will serve just 54 days in jail. He will also teach bitcoin usage to local police officers and stay five, possibly ten years under strict surveillance.

A year and a half after his arrest, the Florida bitcoin trader who used to find clients through the Local Bitcoins site, pleaded guilty of operating as an unlicensed money transmitter. The details of his plea agreement have been published by the court of Miami-Dade county in Florida.

Pascal Reid, 31, is sentenced to serve 90 days in county jail, receiving credit for 36 days that he already served in February-March 2014, pay $500 in compensation for the prosecution expenses, and forfeit all his bitcoins seized by the authorities (more than 400 BTC). He is also obliged to give twenty lessons of digital currency and/or cybercrime to Miami policemen. Finally, he is to stay under strict surveillance for ten years (or only five if he will obey to all the terms of the plea agreement).

During this term, Reid is required to submit to warrantless searches at the request of his surveillance officer. He is also obliged to stay in contact with his surveillance officer, notify the officer before any change of employment or residence and obtain a permission before leaving the Miami area.

Reid was seized in February 2014 together with a fellow Local Bitcoins user, Michell Abner Espinoza, as a result of a law enforcement operation. A police agent contacted them, claiming to be a victim of a credit card theft, and asked to exchange $30,000 for bitcoin to redeem his stolen property. In agreeing to his request, Reid and Espinoza transgressed two Florida laws, the first prohibiting private transactions exceeding $10,000, and the second prohibiting regular private transactions exceeding $20,000 annually. The bitcoiners were accused of money laundering which, according to the plea agreement, could have put Reid in prison for twenty years.


Alexey Tereshchenko